ALEXANDRIA, LA — The weekend of June 6 – 8, 2014, will be a celebration of diversity as the first Cenla Pride Weekend is observed in Central Louisiana. A weekend of activities that includes an art auction, live entertainment and an inter-faith prayer service will be held to celebrate the diversity of the community and to promote the principles of HIV prevention and treatment. The event is sponsored by Central Louisiana AIDS Support Services CLASS) and is being coordinated by the CLASS Gay Men’s Wellness Center.
The weekend will kick off on Friday, June 6 at 6:00 p.m. with a silent art auction and wine and cheese reception at River Oaks Square Arts Center. At 7 p.m., Dr. Clayton Delery-Edwards, a professor at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts in Natchitoches, will discuss his new book, The Upstairs Lounge: 32 Deaths in A New Orleans Gay Bar, June 27, 1973, followed by a book signing. Tickets are $10.00 per person and can be purchased at the door.
Activities on Saturday, June 7 will begin at 10:00 a.m. in Downtown Alexandria. Vendors selling food and arts and crafts will be set up in and near the Alexander Mini-park until 4 p.m. Live entertainment, such as Zydeco music, will be playing throughout the day in the Downtown Amphitheater. That evening, the first annual Mr. & Ms. Cenla Pride Pageant will be held at Club Masquerade, 3217 Industrial Street in Alexandria. The winning contestants will receive a crown, sash and a cash prize. An entry fee of $50.00 is required prior to the pageant and a fee of $75.00 will be required the night of the pageant.
The weekend will conclude on Sunday, June 8 with an inter-faith prayer service that will be held at 1 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church. Following the service, a closing reception will be held in the parish hall.
For information regarding the Mr. and Ms. Cenla Pride pageant, contact Eric Butrenchuk at (318) 715-1979. All other inquiries can be sent to Robby Gray at (318) 442-1010. Additional information will also become available on the CLASS Gay Men’s Wellness Facebook page: The GBT: A Wellness Center by CLASS.